Monday, August 20, 2012

Viva Vivaldi

This sampler was my introduction to Vivaldi when I was a kid. I had just picked up the viola (I had previously been a trumpet player in the middle school band, but our band teacher got busted for cocaine. He was the best band teacher our town ever had) and my older brother pointed me to Vivaldi, who is one of the very few composers who gave violists something interesting to do (the viola is the alto of the orchestra. They tend to get stuck with all the uninteresting junk that isn't fit for violins or cellos).

Anyway, I soon came to understand two things about Vivaldi: 1) He was an absolute master of the concerto form 2) He could make a silk purse out of the lowliest sow's ear. He had a penchant for writing concerti which feature some of the lesser-heralded instruments of his day. He could write a bassoon concerto that would almost make it seem like a good idea to take up the bassoon. He also wrote for instruments like the viola d'amore (a 12 string viola with 6 sympathetic strings), which simply don't exist anymore. Viva Vivaldi is a nice introduction to the man's work, containing the more moving movements of his best and most interesting concerti. I especially enjoy "Laudamus Te," which is a selection from Gloria. As my first introduction to Vivaldi, I tend to slightly overvalue this compilation.

No comments:

Post a Comment